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  #1  
Old 01-16-2022, 05:46 PM
eedeen eedeen is offline
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Default Annoying Overtone on D String

Hello,

I have a Taylor 414CE that I purchased new two years ago. Since then it has developed a weird and very annoying overtone on the D string that is especially evident when amplified, but goes away when fretted.

I have taken it to two luthiers, neither of whom were able to correct the problem or even identify the underlying cause.

Since it disappears when fretting the string, it seems like it could be the nut, however there does not appear to be any obvious problem with it that either I or the two luthiers I had look at it could observe.

Someone suggested "nut ping". I am not 100% certain what that is, but I thought it was the pinging sound that happens when the string is released after sticking in the slot when tuning it. I don't think that is it, but I tried applying some graphite from a pencil to the nut slots to lubricate them. It didn't have any effect.

I've also noticed that the overtone seems louder the closer to the saddle I pluck it, so it could be that as well.

I saw another thread of someone else complaining about the G string on a Taylor, but the original poster did not indicate if it was ever resolved.

Any suggestions? Could it be a problem with the pick up?
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2022, 08:16 PM
stoneaxe stoneaxe is offline
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This sounds very much like the problem I am having with the e and G string,
, Here-
https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=637091
Some of the suggestions might help.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2022, 09:48 PM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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An overtone is different from a buzz. An overtone has a clear pitch. What is the pitch?
If you tune the D string to a lower pitch, say Db or C is does an overtone still occur?
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:16 AM
LHawes LHawes is offline
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Might be a 'wolf tone'

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/wolf-tone/

https://theguitargearguru.com/wolf-h...nes-explained/
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Old 01-17-2022, 02:07 PM
YamahaGuy YamahaGuy is online now
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If it's got the ES-2, I'd check the tension on the piezo cylinders against the saddle.
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Old 01-18-2022, 01:25 AM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Only on the open string and louder when you pick near the bridge (loudest when you pick about 1-1/2 inches from the saddle?) suggests that the nut slot is too low.
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Old 01-18-2022, 07:56 PM
eedeen eedeen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
An overtone is different from a buzz. An overtone has a clear pitch. What is the pitch?
If you tune the D string to a lower pitch, say Db or C is does an overtone still occur?
It lessens when I de-tune to Db, but disappears completely when I tune it to a pitch that is between D and Db, i.e. somewhere between 146.832Hz and 138.591 Hz.
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Old 01-18-2022, 08:00 PM
eedeen eedeen is offline
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This sounds plausible because it sounds more like a harmonic overtone than a buzz and because it disappears when I de-tune the string to pitch somewhere between it D and Db, but re-appears, though less intensely, when I tune to Db. This suggest some kind of harmonic resonance to me.
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Old 01-18-2022, 08:15 PM
eedeen eedeen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YamahaGuy View Post
If it's got the ES-2, I'd check the tension on the piezo cylinders against the saddle.
It does have the ES2 electronics package. Can you please tell me how to check the piezo cylinders and what should I be checking for?
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Old 01-18-2022, 08:18 PM
eedeen eedeen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
An overtone is different from a buzz. An overtone has a clear pitch. What is the pitch?
If you tune the D string to a lower pitch, say Db or C is does an overtone still occur?
Listening more closely, I am detecting some buzz too. Perhaps it is a nut slot issue after all.
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  #11  
Old 01-18-2022, 09:22 PM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eedeen View Post
This sounds plausible because it sounds more like a harmonic overtone than a buzz and because it disappears when I de-tune the string to pitch somewhere between it D and Db, but re-appears, though less intensely, when I tune to Db. This suggest some kind of harmonic resonance to me.
Probably that is it or at least part of it which is why I suggested in my last post you try lowering the pitch. Does not solve the problem though.
You might try seeing if a different set of string gauges has any effect.
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Old 01-18-2022, 09:32 PM
Hoyt Hoyt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eedeen View Post
It does have the ES2 electronics package. Can you please tell me how to check the piezo cylinders and what should I be checking for?
Poster above is right. This could well be your problem.

I just got a new Taylor 12 string with that system. I found some instructions on tightening/loosening the ES system. Itís easy, but it looks like it could easily cause an issue like you describe. Good luck.
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Old 01-19-2022, 04:20 AM
Carey Carey is online now
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As said above, an issue at the nut is the first thing to check. Too low, or the nut not giving a clear termination of the string length.

Otherwise, the OP's issue with the D string *might* have to do with its 'zip' tone, caused I think by a vibration along the string. Has the OP tried a string of different mass / maker / type ?

Last edited by Carey; 01-19-2022 at 04:26 AM.
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Old 01-19-2022, 04:28 AM
YamahaGuy YamahaGuy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eedeen View Post
It does have the ES2 electronics package. Can you please tell me how to check the piezo cylinders and what should I be checking for?
Around 2:55 he makes the adjustments quickly.
https://youtu.be/DaSlSztC1aI
Not sure if righty tighty lefty loosey or not, as it looks like a cam-type system. Regardless, you'll need a small allen wrench. Go in small increments.

I believe these adjustments are why some ES-2 guitars have a "louder" output than others too.

Guitars ARE adjustable.

It makes sense to me that a luthier might not think of the electronics (no disrespect).

Good luck.

Found this online from Taylor:
(See pic)
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  #15  
Old 01-19-2022, 08:14 AM
LHawes LHawes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eedeen View Post
Hello,

I have a Taylor 414CE that I purchased new two years ago. Since then it has developed a weird and very annoying overtone on the D string that is especially evident when amplified, but goes away when fretted.
I had suggested above that it might be a 'wolf tone' but upon rereading your post I see that this 'overtone' has developed over time and wolf tones are usually inherent in the initial design of the guitar as they are a function of a harmonic that reveals itself within that design. Taylors would be one of the last guitars I would think that would have a wolf tone because the design is tried and true and it would take a very specific anomaly in that guitar to suspect a wolf tone as it could show in the design of many 414CE's.

That fact that it "disappears completely when I tune to a pitch between D and Db" is a pretty good clue that it is a wolf tone but I don't think they develop over time? Anyone else understand wolf tones any better? Curious.

Here's an AGF thread discussing wolf tones, Fascinating, especially Alan Carruth's post near bottom of first page..

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=609982


Or do a search in the forum for 'wolf tone'. Many threads here about them.

Last edited by LHawes; 01-19-2022 at 08:26 AM.
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